Thursday, April 19, 2012

6 More Obnoxious Internet Commenters Cracked Missed

Way back in 2003 I was inspired by a combination of Seanbaby (NSFW link) and the Agony Booth to create my own website, full of all my artwork, role-playing character biographies, and various video game reviews. That site was Knight Productions and it sucked. In 2007 I was inspired again to create a blog with better reviews, less other stuff, and 100% less Angelfire bullshit.

While I was not actually inspired by, the website version of the now-defunct Cracked Magazine (aka the poor man's Mad Magazine), it has influenced me quite a bit since then, mostly by showing me that list-based articles are very easy.

While I try not to rip them off completely, a few of my own posts have been based on expanding on things they've said, like when we discussed The Top 5 Superpowers, and Why They'd Suck to Have or The Most Awesome PSA Ever.

I thought it was time to give credit where it's due, because I'm expanding on another of their articles. This time it's The 8 Most Obnoxious Internet Commenters. Following are six more obnoxious commenters. They might not be quite as archetypal as the ones in Cracked's article, but they're almost as common and unlike Cracked's 8 you'll never be able to get rid of them.

6. The Sheriff

A variant of Cracked's great defender, the sheriff can be found on any site with a regular staff of writers and performers making their articles and videos. The sheriff has made it his duty to protect the site, its content, and its staff at all costs. However, as opportunities to do so are rare he usually ends up just harassing random people.

Any comment that isn't completely worshipful will get a response from the sheriff. Trying to phrase your criticism in a nice way won't help either, as there is no disagreement polite enough that he won't burst in, call you a basement-dwelling homo, and start a petition to have you shot in the street.

To the sheriff it's a rough world full of haters and he's the sole protector of peace and goodness, always ready to run in guns-a-blazin' and deal out sweet justice. To everyone else, he's a sycophantic asshole who doesn't understand the concept of constructive criticism.

Why you can't get rid of him:
Because he's not really a troll, per se. A lot of times he's a long-standing member who's just afraid of his favorite website changing. Really, his whole deal would be almost noble if he actually had any real bad guys to fight.

5. The One Line Wonder

A relative of the ninja from Cracked's list, the one line wonder is generally more eloquent, though only slightly. Unlike the ninja, their goal is not necessarily to piss people off, but rather to make themselves look cool, funny, or smart.

It doesn't matter what the current conversation is or how much time and thought other people are putting into their arguments. He'll inject himself into the conversation just long enough to toss off a sarcastic bon mot, then leave the discussion until the next opportunity arises.

Why you can't get rid of him:
For every one line wonder out there trying his hardest to destroy the concepts of communication and debate, there are at least 10 worthless yes men who think he's absolutely amazing. They will follow him around, hang on every word he says, and defend him so rabidly that even the sheriff would say "okay, that's enough."

4. The Stealth Troll

At first glance this guy might look like the sheriff, above, as he appears wherever there's a comments section to rabidly defend whatever it is you're looking at. If you look a little closer, though, you realize two key differences. The first is that his insults are never in reply to any one person. The second is that his defense of the original material seems to be an afterthought at best; 99% of his post is just telling everyone else what a sad, pathetic collection of wasted lives they are.

Why you can't get rid of him:
The stealth troll frames his trolling in false admiration of the original material. He might add in phrases like "you keep doing what you're doing, sweetheart" and "some people are so quick to bully others" right before he goes back to his string of profanities. This combination of flaming and ass-kissing ensures he'll have the support of the site staff while still getting him the slew of angry responses he so desperately wants.

3. The Crusader

The crusader has never been to your site before, he knows nothing about the way it works, who runs it, or what the fans are like, but he heard that you disagree with him on certain issues and now he's pissed. These issues will almost certainly have nothing to do with your site and probably don't even really matter to anyone but him. Regardless, he's out for blood now and he won't stop until your website is brought down and all its staff and fans are dead.

Why you can't get rid of him:
Because he believes so strongly that his cause is just. He'll spread his argument to every comment section (or thread if you're on a message board) that he can until you're forced to deal with him. Even banning him doesn't always work, as the crusader has usually been banned so many times from so many different sites that he's found lots of tricks to get around it.

If there's only one crusader you might be able to talk to him and convince him that he's wrong. If they bring friends about the only thing you can do is ban them as many times as needed and hope they get bored.

2. The Inquisitor

A relative of the crusader, the inquisitor can also be seen as a stealthier version of Cracked's Hitler's apprentice commenter. At first he doesn't appear to be out of the ordinary. He pretends to be just another fan, the only strange thing about him being that he asks a lot of questions about one particular person on the site. Eventually he reveals his master plan: the person he's been stalking is a member of some group he hates, and this entire time he's been setting up an elaborate ambush to unmask and destroy them.

The inquisitor likes to believe that he's a master detective, putting together the clues -DaVinci Code style- to uncover the massive conspiracy that is the internet. Ironically, he'll always be completely baffled when his trap has been sprung and he instantly becomes hated by the entire community; he thought he was doing you a favor by revealing this wolf in sheep's clothing. If you're lucky at this point he'll realize he was a jerk and apologize. Far more likely, however, is that he'll decide you're all indoctrinated and transform into the crusader.

Incidentally, the inquisitor is also the kind of person who will look at the graphics I made for this post and become convinced there's some sinister meaning behind all the good guy characters wearing blue.

Why you can't get rid of him:
The thing that sets the inquisitor apart from the crusader is also the thing that makes him way more obnoxious: by the time you know what he is the inquisitor has already done his damage. At that point he also has a good chance of turning into the crusader, meaning he gets to annoy everyone as both and is just as hard to get rid of.

1. The Vengeful Ghost

So you've just signed up at a new website. You think it seems like fun and you happily put up your first post. You come back an hour later to discover your post has been endlessly insulted. Maybe everyone's an asshole, maybe you're the asshole, or maybe no one's an asshole and you just got off on the wrong foot. Regardless, you just don't fit in and any attempt you make to earn everyone's respect just makes them hate you more. What do you do?

If you're most people the answer is something along the lines of telling them to go to Hell, then leaving. You have no obligation to stay there, so why waste your life at a place you hate trying to get people you hate to like you when it would be much simpler to just find someplace else where you can actually be happy?

This simple logic is completely lost on the vengeful ghost. For whatever inexplicable reason he has declared that he will be a part of your site, whether you like it or not. He's been banned more times than anyone can keep track of and he keeps coming back. In the end he's really only hurting himself, but good luck convincing him of that.

Why you can't get rid of him:
Because you already did. He obviously knows a way around whatever measures you took and like any good movie monster he keeps coming back for more. As with the crusader you could try talking to him and you might be able to convince him he'd be happier somewhere else, but honestly if that logic was capable of getting through to him you wouldn't be in this situation in the first place. The only other option is to just ban him whenever he comes back and wait for him to get the hint.

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